Does one of your New Year’s Resolutions involve becoming a carry-on only traveler? If so, then you have come to the right place! For years I’ve been extolling the virtues and benefits of carry-on travel, but I understand the time has to be right to make the switch.
Maybe you need the airlines to lose your bag one-to-many-times. Perhaps you have to pay out the wazoo for overweight luggage. Or you won’t be convinced until you spend time at the Chiropractor or Physical Therapist to recover from a pulled muscle because you wrenched your back trying to juggle multiple bags.
Whatever your motivation, once that magical moment happens and the glimmer of possibility appears, something else is also bound to happen. The objections, excuses, doubts and reasons why you can’t do it start rolling in. You need a little tough love from someone to tell you how to get over those stumbling blocks and what to just let go of to make it happen.
And if I can help a couple who traveled to France for their two-week honeymoon successfully with only carry-on luggage – than there is hope for you too!
Here are three stumbling blocks that prevent you from becoming a successful carry-on traveler and how to get over them.
1. The Liquids Carry-On Restrictions
This stumbling block is really a two-parter. I’m referring to both the 3-1-1 liquids carry on rule, which makes it seem impossible to keep up your standard level of hygiene when traveling, and bringing home liquid souvenirs like wine, liquid food items, perfume etc. For many, the thought of not having bulk quantities of your must-have beauty cream is enough to set you right over the edge, but don’t worry. You can get over it.
- How to get over it – Spend time planning ahead and thinking about what you really need to just survive for the duration of your trip. Make a list. Pare down to the bare minimum and basics. Swap liquids for a solid items when possible – ie, swap shower gel for bar soap just for travel’s sake. Honestly, you won’t die without a six-month supply of conditioner, will you?
As a wine-lover, I remember a time when I used to be able to bring home special bottles of hard-to-locate wines or olive oil as souvenirs from my travels. I know the thought of not being able to just take home bottles filled with grapey goodness may make you give up and pull out that massive suitcase again, but don’t. You can get over it.
- How to get over it – If you really, really have to own it and can’t live without it – pony up the extra pennies to have it shipped home. Or get it through your head that you’ll likely need to forgo the wine (unless you buy it duty-free) and buy very small bottles (less than 3 oz) of other tasty things like olive or truffle oil, vinegar, perfume samples that will all need to be packed securely in your carry-on so they don’t break. Better yet, savor those bottles of hard-to-find wine throughout your trip and create lasting memories – and pick non-liquid souvenirs to return with!
2. Doing Laundry
In order to be a successful carry-on traveler for a trip longer than 5-7 days, it’s an inevitable fact that you’ll need to do….laundry. I know, I know – it’s vacation. You don’t want to do chores. That’s why you are ON vacation, right? To relax and get away from pesky things like housework. But don’t let it deter you. You can get over it.
- How to get over it – Honestly, it’s really not that big a deal to plan to do laundry only once during your vacation. Make a trip to the laundromat at the half way point. Or you could break it up by doing some hand-washing in your hotel sink/tub at different intervals during your stay. But if you totally can’t see yourself doing laundry – opt for staying in a hotel that offers laundry service and cough up a few bucks to have someone else do it.
3. Packing Shoes
This one’s for you ladies out there (and a few men too!). You know who you are. You can’t imagine not being able to pack a separate pair of shoes to go with each and every outfit that you bring. You think you’d be disappointing your loyal fan base who expect you too show them photos of you wearing those cute peep-toe pumps. I’m here to tell ya – you can get over it.
- How to get over it – Again, it’s about your state of mind and planning ahead. Don’t pack for fashion – pack for comfort. Leave the stilettos home. Leave those cute sandals that only go with your pink flowery sundress home. Pare down to only 2-3 pair. The lighter-weight, the better. If you must bring a dressy pair of shoes, make it a pair that can work with all of your outfits, not just one. Solid colors like black and white are always a good bet – they go with everything.
Have you decided to make the switch to carry-on only travel, but don’t know where to start? Click here to see how I can help!